Image-guided treatment helping women with tubo-ovarian abscesses avoid unnecessary surgery

Image guided drainage of tubo ovarian abscesses help women avoid surgery, according to a study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. Tubo ovarian abscesses (TOAs) are an infected collection of pus, involving a patient’s fallopian tube(s) or ovaries. They can occur in patients with complicated cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis or diverticulitis.

The study included 54 TOAs in 46 patients. Results showed that “image guided TOA drainage avoided salpinto-oophorectomy (the surgical removal of a patient’s ovary and fallopian tube) in 95% (20/21) of pelvic inflammatory disease cases and in 72% (39/54) of cases overall,” according to Robin Levenson, MD, lead author of the study.

“Image guided drainage should be considered as an alternative to salpino-oopherectomy for the treatment of TOAs. Successful treatment of the patient’s TOA(s) and avoidance of surgery are important benefits of image guided TOA drainage,” said Dr. Levenson. “Additionally, salvation of a patient’s ovaries and fallopian tubes may preserve fertility as well as the endogenous hormones produced by the ovary,” she said.

“The procedure is quite safe. The complication rate in our series of image guided drainage of TOAs has been extremely low. Only two out of 46 (4%) patients had minor complications. No major complications occurred,” said Dr. Levenson.

“Awareness of the success of image-guided drainage in the treatment of TOAs will hopefully lead to fewer women requiring surgery and the resulting loss of their ovaries and fallopian tubes,” she said.



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